The Key to Experiencing Jesus Christ in Your Everyday Life
The day we get saved is a wonderful, momentous day. Here, though, we want to talk about the days that follow. After experiencing the joy of salvation, a person may wonder how to continue experiencing the Lord Jesus. Questions such as these come up: How can I know Jesus personally? How can I experience Jesus in my life? Is being forgiven and saved from God’s judgment all there is to the Christian life?
Some may try different ways to experience Jesus like they did the day they were saved. Perhaps they try studying the Bible more, but though they learn something new, the Lord Himself still seems far away.
Similar to how we need the right key, not just any key, to enter into a locked room, we need to use the right key to experience Jesus. What’s the key for us to know Jesus personally in our day-to-day life?
Two important facts
Before we get into what the key to experiencing Jesus is, we need to grasp two important facts.
The first fact is that Jesus redeemed us by His death on the cross. How we thank Him for this! And Christ’s redemption made possible the second fact, that Jesus has come to live in our spirit! Through Christ’s death, He saved us from eternal judgment, and in His resurrection Christ as the life-giving Spirit came to live in us, specifically, in our spirit. Knowing and appreciating this second fact is crucial to our experiencing Jesus in a real and daily way.
God created human beings because He wanted to share His divine life with us. By having God’s life, we would be able to express Him in our living. But because mankind fell, two things happened: we became sinful, and our spirit was deadened, unable to contact or know God. So we had two great needs: we needed forgiveness of our sins, and our deadened spirit needed to be made alive.
When we received the Lord Jesus as our Savior, both of these two great needs were met! We were redeemed and forgiven of our sins. And we were reborn in our spirit with the life of God.
Now let’s get into the key to experiencing Jesus.
Three realms and three keys
For human beings, three realms exist in the universe. We’re all equipped with the key to each realm, because God created us with a body, a soul, and a spirit:
The physical realm—the material world, consisting of what we can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. The key to experiencing this realm is to use our body’s five physical senses.
The psychological realm—the realm of the human soul, deeper than the physical realm, consisting of intangible things like thoughts, feelings, and decisions. The key to experiencing the psychological realm is to use the faculties of our soul: our mind to think, reason, and analyze; our emotions to experience joy, sorrow, and other feelings; and our will to decide, form intentions, and choose.
The spiritual realm—more mysterious and deeper than both the physical and psychological realms. John 4:24 says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit.” In spirit here means in our human spirit. The key to experiencing the spiritual realm is to use our human spirit to contact God, who is Spirit.
To illustrate the importance of using the right key for each realm, let’s use the example of the delicious aroma of bread baking in an oven. To try and “experience” that aroma by using the faculties of our soul would be futile. Our soul is simply the wrong key. But with a single sniff, we can use our sense of smell and immediately experience that mouthwatering aroma.
In the same way, we can’t experience Christ if we use the wrong key. Jesus Christ is no longer with us physically, so our five senses don’t help us there. And even using our mind to think about Him or our emotions to try to sense Him doesn’t work, because God is Spirit. Using our God-created human spirit is the right key for us to experience Christ who lives in our spirit.
How to use the key of our spirit
To use any part of our being means to exercise that part. So for example, physically we use or exercise our feet by walking. Psychologically, we exercise our mind by studying or considering.
So how do we exercise the key of our spirit to contact and experience the Lord Jesus? The best way to exercise our spirit is by praying. Our prayer doesn’t need to be long, formal, or in a particular place. In fact, simply calling on the precious name of our Lord Jesus is a good way to exercise our spirit to contact Him in prayer. When we call on the name of the Lord from our spirit, we experience Him as living water, satisfying us and quenching our thirst at any time during our day.
Another way to exercise our spirit is to pray with the Word of God. As we read the Bible, we can turn what we read into our prayer. When we pray with the Scriptures, we use not just our mind to read the Word, but more importantly we use our spirit to contact the Spirit in the Word. By exercising our spirit with the Word of God, we experience Christ as our spiritual nourishment.
We can also exercise our spirit by praising and thanking the Lord for all He is and all He has done for us. By giving thanks to the Lord for all things, we can be filled with Him.
By regularly practicing these different types of prayer, we can go on from our initial experience of salvation to know and experience Jesus more every day.
Experiencing Jesus day by day
The Lord Jesus doesn’t want to be an objective figure to us whom we worship from afar. He redeemed us and regenerated us to live in us and be our life. Jesus lives in us, so we can experience Him subjectively as everything to us in our everyday life. In all matters of our life, big or small, we can experience Christ as whatever we need when we contact Him by using the key of our human spirit.
What a joy to experience Jesus by using this wonderful key of exercising our spirit!
“Lord Jesus, thank You for living in me and for showing me that using my spirit is the key to experiencing You. Thank You that I can exercise my spirit by praying. Lord, thank You for opening my eyes to see that I can experience You in my everyday life by enjoying Your living presence in my spirit.”
This post is based on chapter 5 of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1, by Witness Lee and Watchman Nee, published by Living Stream Ministry (mass distribution ed.).